The Drug Diversion Triad

I recently heard a conference speaker, Maureen Burger, talk about the Drug Diversion Triad. All three parts of the triangle must exist before the healthcare worker commits diversion. The three parts of the triangle are Pressure or Motivation, Rationalization or Justification, and Opportunity.

  • Pressure can come from external sources such as a financial need or a family member with a chronic disease and the need for controlled substances. Pressure can also come from internal sources such as a healthcare worker with increased stress or physical pain.
  • Rationalization comes when the healthcare worker justifies stealing from their employer. They may feel underappreciated, overworked or under-compensated.
  • Opportunity comes where there are gaps in controlled substance security. Opportunity is the area where an organization has the most control. How is your organization doing in this area?

drug diversion triad

Terri Vidals
Terri Vidals

Terri has been a pharmacist for over 30 years and is a drug diversion mitigation and monitoring subject matter expert. Her years of experience in various roles within hospital pharmacy have given her real-world insight into risk, compliance, and regulatory requirements, as well as best practices for medication and patient safety.

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